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Starting Point

News/Business. Soledad O'Brien. Soledad O'Brien looks ahead to the days top news and events. New.

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CNN

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02:00:00

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TOPIC FREQUENCY

Us 28, Dana 13, Virginia 13, Citi 11, Washington 11, Syria 11, U.s. 10, Alina 7, Obama 7, Chuck Hagel 6, Hagel 6, New York 6, Kabul 6, Geico 5, Israel 5, Nra 5, Afghanistan 5, Wayne La Pierre 5, Grover 4, Boehner 4,
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  CNN    Starting Point    News/Business. Soledad O'Brien. Soledad O'Brien  
   looks ahead to the days top news and events. New.  

    December 24, 2012
    4:00 - 6:00am PST  

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a new possible insider attack in afghanistan. this time, a policewoman
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suspected of killing an american. good morning from washington, with the beautiful sunrise behind me, republicans say they want this -- the president wants this country to go off the fiscal cliff, to have a sunset when it comes to our fiscal situation is that really what's going on here? lawmakers are on vacation, so will anything get done in time? lots of people on vacation, dana. a winter storm may be headed your way. for all of the people traveling, 93 million americans on trains, planes, and automobiles. what it means for your holiday travel plans. good morning, welcome to "starting point." chilly in new york city. 7:00 in the morning. i'm alina cho in new york. >> and i'm dana bash in washington. monday, december 24th. christmas eve. "starting point" begins right now.
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>> and our "starting point," a u.s. contractor in kabul gunned down and killed this morning by a woman wearing an afghan police uniform. it happened inside kabul's police headquarters. the latest in a string of suspected green on blue attacks that are hitting morale and eroding trust in allies there. our pentagon correspond respondent barbara starr up early for us working her sources. joins us live from washington with more. >> good morning, alina. in the last few minutes, our nato sources are confirming privately that, indeed, it was an american citizen. a contractor shot and killed by a woman, an afghan woman in a police uniform inside kabul police headquarters. what is not known at this point or they are not saying, whether this woman was an afghan police officer or came into possession of the uniform, stole it. we have seen these kinds of incidents before. people have infiltrated in, may have taliban loyalties, may be
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other issues at work here. they have seen grudges in the past being enacted upon. so not a lot of detail yet. but this whole issue of both nato troops and contractors being killed by people in uniform of afghan security forces has been plague the alliance all year long. more than 50 people killed in this manner, a continuing problem. the taliban may not be winning by u.s. standards in afghanis n afghanistan, but they are getting some propaganda value out of the tragic incidents. alina. >> barbara starr, thank you. >> hope is fading fast this morning for a fiscal cliff compromise. eight days left until we go off the edge. with the president and congress on holiday hiatus, things looking bleak. listen to joe liberman on yesterday's "state of the union." >> i think it's more likely we
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will go over the cliff than not, and if we allow that to happen, it will be the most colossal consequential act of congressional irresponsibility in a long time, maybe ever in american history. >> white house correspondent brianna keilar is traveling with the president and joins us live from honolulu, hawaii, this morning. i'm talking to republican and democratic sources and they really feel like we're going to go over the cliff. what are you hearing? >> i'm hearing it's a very real possibility, and as you're hearing, they aren't even really talking, democrats and reyou public i had cans, the white house talks to senate democrats, but at this point, the white house is not in any real substan tiff conversations with both house republicans and senate republicans as all eyes turn to the senate, and perhaps because of that, some of the pessimism you heard from senator liberman there is shared by replicans.
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listen. >> when i listen to the president, i think the president is eager to go over the cliff for political purposes. i think he sees a political victory at the bottom of the cliff. gets additional tax revenue for new programs, gets to cut the military and blame republicans for it. >> attention now turns to the senate which will reconvene on thursday. the 27th. house majority leader harry reid now has the task of trying to cobble something together that could perhaps pass the senate and also pass the house with some republican support. the expectation would be some democratic support. the white house is still calling for the threshold on tax cuts to be a quarter million. it seems unlikely republicans would sign on the that, and officially president obama is supposed to be remaining here in hawaii through the new year, it
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seems likely he will be heading back to washington sometimes around when the senate convenes. and in the meantime, just up in the air about what is going to happen. is it going to be a very unmerry cliff-mass? perhaps. >> i feel like we should pause and listen to the best sound in the world behind you. the waves crashing on the beach. >> pretty good. thanks. dana, as you know, the fiscal cliff crisis is bringing out the creative side of the "usa today" editorial board. >> with the president and congress on holiday break, the newspaper's editors decide a holiday poem was in in order. >> we decided it would be a great idea to read some of for you. >> twaz the night before cliff-mas, when all through d.c., not a politician was stirring, they'd decided to flee. their work was not finished but
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they did not care. the fiscal cliff looming they took to the air, voters watched this debacle with dressing dressed while visions of total victory dances in polls head. >> democrats balked at a tight spending cap. republicans kept pushing their anti tax pap, thursday evening christmas and reporter sprang to the capitol to see what's the matter. house demes realized with evident fwlee, the speaker could not pass his own plan b. >> read it all in "usa today". and, dana, something a lot of people know a lot about. just-released poll numbers showing -- okay. we'll bring you those in a second. while we get those, but we want to get some top stories first. here we go. leading republicans refusing to get on board with the nra's plan forearmed officers in every u.s. school. that's not keeping the ceo from
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doubling down on the idea. wayne la pierre told "meet the press," it's the only way to keep our children safe in the classroom. >> if it's crazy to call for putting police in our schools to protect our children, then call me crazy. i'll tell you what, the american people -- i think the american people think it's crazy not to do it. >> well, top republicans have come out against the idea of armed officers at every school and resisting calls for tighter gun laws. keep it here, in the next half hour of "starting point, " we'll talk about the nra's hardline stance on gun control with the organization's former political director, richard feldman. senator mike crepo of idaho apologizing to constituestit co family after being arrested early saturday morning for driving under the influence. he failed a field sobriety test.
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he was pulled over after spotted running a red light and had a blood alcohol level of poin 11. the legal blood alcohol level is point 08. he was released on $1,000 bond. a senior navy s.e.a.l. commander's death is being investigated as a suicide. navy commander john price's body was found after he didn't show up at an appointed time. he was serving as part of the special commanding unit s.e.a.l. team 4. he was not related in any investigation or controversies. a north korean rocket had the ability to travel 6,000 miles, conceivably one could reach the u.s. this is based in part on a part they recovered from one of the rocket's boosters.
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south korea says it shows north korea's intent and progress. how badly did mitt romney want to be president? not badly. tag romney telling "the boston globe," if his father could have found someone else to take his place, he would have gladly stepped aside. his father wanted to be president less than anyone i've met in my life. he had no desire. all right. didn't seem like it during the campaign. >> it sure didn't seem like it. but he is a private person and that did cause some problems for him. he wasn't ready to talk about things until it got too late. just released poll numbers say a majority of americans say the u.s. and other countries should not get involved in syria. 52% against the idea of "usa today" or other country's planes to set up safe zones.
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this as a gruesome scene unfolds. people who got out to buy bread were killed as they lined up at a bakery to get the bread. mohammed jamjoon joins us by phone from beruit. some of the video you are about to see is extremely graphic. what can you tell us? >> dana, it's horrific and grizzly details that are emerging. opposition activist says hundreds were lined up to get bread from the bakery. the first time it opened in over a week in the town of haifa. it was shelled by a warplane overhead and at least 1200 people killed in the attack. the amateur video posted online shows an extremely gruesome scene. mangled corpses in the rubble. you can see rebel army officers
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and civilians trying to help the wounded. a terrible, terrible tragedy according to whom we've been speaking with. that town harbors a lot of anti government sentiment. liberated by rebels just a week ago. and because of that, they were targeted by the regime yesterday. they issues a statement and blame what happened to terrorists, and that's the term they use when talking about rebel fighters. the townspeople called for help. called for intervention from the syrian regime. and they sent in military and started killing and arrested terrorists there. diplomacy is still going on to forge some sort of path for syria. the joint u.n. arab league envoy to syria arrived in damascus last night and he left the country since then and spoke to reporters briefly this morning
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and told them about his discussions with assad. here is more of what mr. brahimi had to say. dana, mr. brahimi has since left syria he says the situation is dire and he hopes they can come to some agreement to alleviate the misery for the syrian people. >> you are on the phone, and lucky enough to get you face to face. thank you for that and for that report. as gruesome and grim as it was. ahead on "starting point" criticism from the right and left. controversy brewing over chuck hagel's possible nomination as defense secretary. will the president go all in or go with someone else? and fired for being simply too irresistible. one state's highest court says not a problem. this is a story you really do
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ra starr live with more. what are you hearing about the nomination? >> have you been following it up on capitol hill. i am looking at it from this side here at the pentagon. nothing but controversy erupting now. it began, you know, when the buzz started to grow. so there is a couple of issues that haggle is now facing. one is iran. is he tough enough? did he really support sanctions on iran? the big one, the question of israel. criticism all the way back to 2007 when then knife senator haggle made a remark about the jewish lobby intimidating lawmakers in washington that remark has come back. other independent many people say -- independent views that haggle has separated from the republican party, separated from the democrats, about israel. you see the first real public opposition.
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there is a commercial opposing haggle. have a listen to a bit of it. >> president obama says all options on the table for preventing a nuclear iran. haggle sa hagel says that military action is not a viable, feasible responsible option. chuck hagel is not a viable, feasible option. >> the white house has not put out a nomination, but you are beginning see reaction from the hill. over the weekend, some very key senators spoke out about chuck hagel. >> i would have some really serious questions to ask him, not just about israel, but to me the most significant foreign policy challenge for president obama in our country and the world in the next year or two is iran and the nuclear weapons program. chuck hagel has had some outlying votes on that.
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>> i don't think he will get many republican votes. i like chuck, but his positions i didn't frankly know all of them, are really out of the mainstream and well to the left of the president. >> so on iran, hagel cast some votes not supporting iranian sanctions. on israel, these marks that he's made in the past, coming back to haunt him now. we'll have on-to-see in coming days if it becomes the fact that hagel is white house nominee. >> such an odd situation. the whole idea of nominating hagel it would be a bipartisan choice. he is a republican. former republican senator, who would be in a democratic administration. republicans are out against him. have you heard of any support for him in this process? >> well, you know there, are people who are coming out and supporting him. public letters from former, very prominent generals, admirals,
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ambassadors with both sides of the aisle, political affiliations if you will. but the problem perhaps is this right now it's against the back drop of the susan rice nomination that never happened either, right? so the thing that people are starting to talk about, if if the hagel potential nomination sits there too many days without the white house coming out. nominating him or cutting him loose, this gives time for opposition to grow, time for there to be more rhetoric on the whole thing and may force the white house hand. not to nominate him and that will be a political cost to the president many say, because it will be the second potential nomination he had to back away from. >> and who would be out there if he were to back away? what about other candidates? >> it's interesting. really only two people that have been spoken about. one is a man ash carter, currently the deputy secretary, number two, here at the pentagon, the other one, michelle flornoy.
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number three at the pentagon before she left many months ago. the white house may want to go with michelle flornoy by trying to nominate the first female secretary of defense. dana. >> that would be something, that's for sure. barbara, thank you very much. ahead on "starting point" prince harry's turning point in afghanistan. new details of his latest missions unlike any he's been on before. and from actor to senator? ben affleck may be considering a run for office. but she loved it so much... i told her it was homemade. everyone tells a little white lie now and then. but now she wants my recipe [ clears his throat ] [ softly ] she's right behind me isn't she? [ male announcer ] progresso. you gotta taste this soup.
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welcome back to "starting point." some top stories. investors will have to wait for news on the fiscal cliff until after christmas. that uncertainty is pushing markets lower. the s & p 500, all down this morning. trading expected to be light with high volatility today. and markets close early at 1:00 p.m. eastern. and a red alert for a possible volcanic eruption in chile. the volcano hits high in the
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andes mountains and might be poised to blow. so far, chile's geological service has not sent out a mandatory evacuation order. >> prince harry killed his first taliban fighter in afghanistan, as he flew to the rescue of a patrol under attack. defense sources deny reports that he killed a taliban commander, but admitted he had deployed his weapon. the prince is nearing an end of a four-month tour of duty in hellman province. and a judge has sign off on the bp settlement regarding the gulf oil spills. bp expects to pay out 7$7.8 billion. it includes thousands of claims of businesses and individuals in five states on the gulf of mexico. bp faces many other lawsuits, including a major civil trial in february. a memorial for sandy hook
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victims and a show of support for tighter gun laws in new york. hundreds of demonstrators marched over new york city's brooklyn bridge and stopped in the middle of the bridge to read the names of the children and adults killed at sandy hook elementary. it is christmas eve. around the world, key events are already under way. thousands are celebrating in bethlehem, the birthplace of jesus christ. at the vatican, both benedict will celebrate with a christmas eve mass at 4:00 p.m. eastern time. >> incredible live pictures. a cyber war with santa right in the middle. if you and your little ones want to keep tabs on santa this holiday season, have you options. not one, but two santa trackers. that's right the ever reliable stand by at noradsanta.org, currently over russia, and
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google's new version, which includes games and activities, find that at google.com/santatracker. dana. >> i think we could keep it old school with norad. we can try both. ahead on "starting point," the nra doubles down on calls forearmed police officers at all schools. a lot of criticism from both sides of the aisle that that's not the right solution. former political director of the nra who is a member and owns 140 firearms himself joins us next to respond. it might not be fair, but it's not illegal. a woman fired for being too irresistible, and the court says that's totally fine. you have to hear this story, coming up. well, if it isn't mr. margin.
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mr. margin? don't be modest, bob. you found a better way to pack a bowling ball. that was ups. and who called ups? you did, bob. i just asked a question. it takes a long time to pack a bowling ball. the last guy pitched more ball packers. but you... you consulted ups. you found a better way. that's logistics. that's margin. find out what else ups knows. i'll do that. you're on a roll. that's funny. i wasn't being funny, bob. i know. i'm going to dream about that steak. i'm going to dream about that tiramisu. what a night, huh?
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but, um, can the test drive be over now? head back to the dealership? [ male announcer ] it's practically yours. but we still need your signature. volkswagen sign then drive is back. and it's never been easier to get a passat. that's the power of german engineering. get $0 down, $0 due at signing, $0 deposit, and $0 first month's payment on any new volkswagen. visit vwdealer.com today. and welcome back to a very special edition of "starting point." i'm alina cho in new york. ith it's 30 minutes past the hour. in the time i've been here, i never anchored a show with my friend dana bash. >> i am dana bash in d.c. thank you for joining us on this christmas eve morning. a big controversy over
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comments by the national rifle association growing louder. they doubled down. ceo wayne la pierre not giving any ground. he says all schools should have armed police officers. this is what he said on nbc. >> if it's crazy to call for putting police and security in our schools to protect our children, then call me crazy. i tell you what the american people -- i think the american people think it's crazy not to do it. >> i want to bring in richard feldman, former political director of the nra. now president of the independent firearms owners association. thank you for joining us. appreciate it. before the nra gave its statement on friday, you said you thought they might do something other than what they did. say they supported banning high-capacity magazine rounds. were you surprised they didn't do that and called for even more guns? >> well, you know, i think the first thing we need to do in
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this country is take a little step back and start being nicer to one another. let's lower the rhetoric, we're all americans, all in this, and we all want to resolve the problem. no one wants to see the kind of horrific massacre that occurred last week. we have different ideas and, in fact there, are many things we can do right now as a nation without congress, without regulation. we can go ahead and harden those schools, put ballistic doors into our schools. it only costs money. we can change our system in many ways. we need to have an effective bureau of alcohol, tobacco, and firearms, one that's run by serious leadership. we need to increase funding for our nippon system. we need to increase our knicks background checks. >> those are all interesting
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ideas, but what about to my question? were you surprised, given the fact that you thought your former employer, the nra, would go ahead and say, yeah, maybe we should ban these high-capacity clips that they didn't do that? >> i never said -- didn't have any idea what they were going to say. wayne la pierre threw out an idea which wasn't actually that much different from what senator barbara boxer has proposed with the national guard. let's sometimes separate the message from the messenger. and this christmas season, let's all recognize, where we're in together. there are some solutions, but it's always about balance. between and amongst, risks and freedoms, we have to fin the right balance and do the things that are going to have an impact on now, not 40 or 50 years into the fwut. >> my day job is covering congress and as wayne la pierre
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was speaking, i was talking to republicans, pretty avid gun rights supporters, who were shaking their heads saying what was that? they were really disappointed, some of them, not just in the message, but also the tone. one republican told me it was like a time warp. do you think that was a problem? >> well, again, you know, i don't even want to comment about the tone. let's talk about the issue. the issue is what can we as americans do to prevent this kind of horrific tragedy from ever occurring in the future? >> okay. >> i applaud president obama and his -- and vice president biden. we offer our expertise. we will work with the congress. i have some experience here. i am the guy that negotiated the child safety lock arrangement with bill clinton.
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there are things we can do and do now rather than debate endlessly over the things that divide us instead of moving forward on the many things that we're already in agreement on. >> you were -- when you worked for the nra, you were its political director. >> regional political director. >> regardless, you knew a lot about its clout in politics. do you in all candor think that the nra has the kind of clout it did back in the '90s when were you involved in those really high-proo file debates, for like safety locks, assault bans and so on. >> when i did the chaft safety lo locks, i was representing the nra. it's not about clout. what the nra does so well is organize and motivate their people to get out in elections.
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arguing against what they do, you are arguing against democracy. we're in this fight together, instead of dwighting america, let's come together for a change. we can. >> i want to talk a little more about the proposal that wayne la pierre made too put armed police officers in schools. it's gotten tepid support from republicans and that's probably an understatement. listen to john boraso yesterday. >> i think decisions about schools ought to be made at the local level. i would not want a national effort to say you have to do this at schools. i think local education decisions are best made at the local level. >> so even the -- people who should be the biggest supporters of this ideas to not only put armed police officers in schools, but to fund it republicans in congress, they are hands off, what does that tell you? >> lots of ways we can approach
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these issues and it really requires a multidisciplinary approach. what works in an environment in new york city isn't going to work in rural america, and there are 6,000 or 7,000 school districts in this country. one size doesn't fit all solutions are pretty clear. there are many things we can do, we can do now. let's not let those things that divide us, prevent us from moving forward in the things we're on agreement on now. >> let's keep talking, though, about what the nra does want to do right now, which is put armed police officers in schools. you know, there was an armed deputy assigned to columbine in and around the time of that massacre. his name was neil gardner, and he was monitoring students just offcampus when the students started shooting. he was one of the first to respond. i want to read to you what he said after the newtown massacre. he said if you live through a school shooting, you understand
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you don't really need these weapons. i don't know why a normal person would need an assault rifle. virginia tech had it's own police force. others did too. we are talking about what you said over and over. this is what the nra wants to do. given the history of there being armed -- all kinds of armed guards at schools where there were shootings, do you think it will really work? >> well, you know, when we call 911, we don't want to disarm security guard showing up to help us. now, there are many different things we can do. that perhaps is appropriate in some situations. i believe new york city schools, many of them, have security officers that are armed. that's not the whole picture. if we focus just on the firearm, we miss the opportunity to address the larger problems here with our mental health system, which is in shambles in this country, and what is really comes down to is money, why are
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we going to put our priorities, in the mill ear, overseas, or right here with our own people in america? >> thank you very much for joining us. i appreciate it. especially on this holiday. >> thank you. >> other headlines to tell you about. we expect to fin out the official results of egypt's constitutional referendum vote. unofficial results published by state-run media show a commanding 64% of egyptians approved the constitution, drafted by an assembly dominated by muslim brotherhood. several cases have been filed to challenge the vote. former british prime minister margaret thatcher will spend christmas in the holiday. she is recovered from a surgery. her spokesperson says she's
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suffered several strokes since then. john kerry is president's choice to replace hilary clinton. who will replace kerry? ben affleck wasn't saying no when asked about a possible senate run on cbs. >> i do have a great fondness and admiration for the political process in this country. a big deal for me to come down and be on your show i've watched so much. but i'm not going to get into speculation about my political future. >> wow, that was a pretty political answer. he has already got that down. is he happy to be involved from politics outside the government and has a lot on his plate right now, including three children, so he says he might not leave, especially after starring and directing in a pretty popular movie like "argo."
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>> there is an oscar campaign jrnd way. i might have to go to the capital and work alongside you. he's had it. tim tebow refused to play yesterday word has it. greg mcelroy sacked 11 times. league sources tell espn it's a virtual certainty that tebow's hometown team, the jacksonville jaguars will scoop him up next year. ashton kutcher filed divorce papers, but demi moore is holding off on signing them. tmz says moore is ready to get divorced, but holding out for a big divorce settlement. the "two and a half men" co-star has had a successful career and made a fortune investing in technology companies. kutcher cited irreconcilable
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differences when he filed for divorce from moore. think beautiful people have no problems? listen to this. a woman was fired for being "irresistible." now she's talking. melissa nelson was fired because her boss and his wife felt she was a threat to their marriage. she was a dental assistant. the iowa supreme court ruled that it was legal. she spoke to don lemon yesterday. >> i don't think it's fair. i don't think it's right. the last couple of days have just been an emotional roller coaster. i'm trying to stay strong. >> i don't even know what to say about that, alina. >> the back story, apparently they were exchanging text messages outside of work, the wife got wind of the in late 2009. and in early 2010, she was fired. >> that's different from being irresistible. that's an important point. >> anyway.
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ahead, eight maids a milking, seven swans a swimming. the big dent the 12 days of christmas would put on your wallet. christmas with the first ladies. inside the white house with the team that helps decorate all of the beautiful rooms for the holidays. mt [ male announcer ] alka-seltzer plus presents the cold truth. i have a cold, and i took nyquil, but i'm still "stubbed" up. [ male announcer ] truth is, nyquil doesn't unstuff your nose. what? [ male announcer ] it doesn't have a decongestant. no way. [ male announcer ] sorry. alka-seltzer plus fights your worst cold symptoms
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. you know those 12 days of christmas? it would cost you a pretty penny if you tried to buy those as a gift. the true cost of the 12 days of christmas. >> so you have decided to be very traditional in your christmas presents this year and you are going to buy the 12 days of christmas. you know, all the high tones in the song. pnc bank worked out how much it would cost. and it's 5% more expensive this year than last year this is why. let's start with a partridge in a pear tree. up 11%. the cost of feed, housing, storage, pear trees, all raised
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the cost. and then you have those five gold rings. you know the price of gold has been very high. as a result, it's up 16.3%. those gold rings are pretty pricey. onto the living things. six geese a laying. up 30% because of storage and feed stuffs. seven swams a swimming, up 11%. what about humans? what about the maids a milking. unchanged. they're manual labor. unskilled. once you get to the drummers drumming, up 5.5%. how much does it all cost? if you buy the whole lot, the 12 days of christmas, $25,431, a rise of just about 5%. as for the true cost, because some of them you have to buy
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again and again, look at that. $107,000. that's a whooping rise. and if you buy online on the internet, even more expensive. because of shipping and handling. finally, the cost of buying christmas every year, just look at the way it keeps getting more and more expensive. overall, when you put the 12 days together, the 12 days of christmas, you can see it's not a cheap business. you will be buying again and again and again. richard quest, cnn, london. >> two things. nobody sells a story like richard quest. one. two, that is a tragic sweater. >> you know, i was actually talking about that with our producers as we were watching it. you know, i had swill say, onlyd
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can pull off a sweater like that. a fashionista like you, must be cringing. >> it is slimming. maybe only at home. ahead, first ladies known for going all out decoratiing te white house. they get a lot of help. we'll talk to colleen christian burke, whose long time dream came true when she was called to 1600 pennsylvania avenue to glitz things up. she wrote a book about it, too. and that's next. that pink castl. and you really don't want to pay more than you have to. only citi price rewind automatically searches for the lowest price. and if it finds one, you get refunded the difference. just use your citi card and register your purchase online. have a super sparkly day! ok. [ male announcer ] now all you need is a magic carriage.
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welcome back to starting point. a big storm out west is delaying some travel plans on this christmas eve. go straight to bonnie schneider who has the forecast for us. it's looking like a wet christmas or maybe a white christmas. >> in the south it's coming down hard right now. birmingham, alabama, frequent lightning strikes. and a lot of that wet weather will turn more volatile for christmas day. this is where we're looking at the possibility of tornadoes and ge daing winds, even hail, a stormy one for parts of the gulf
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coast. right now current temperatures are cold. it is 49 degrees in nashville. temperatures are even more cold, in fact, bitterly cold in the northern plains, where we have negative numbers in north and south dakota right now. watch out for severe storms overnight tonight in texas and snow in parts of the great lakes. >> so you're an expert. which one are you going to be looking at to get santa's whereabouts, norad or google maps? >> i've used norad all the years i've been a meteorologist. so i might try both and see who tracks santa better. that might be a whole other project to do. >> dana, thank you. bonnie, thank you. the christmas tree at the white house is a longstanding tradition, and each first lady comes to the white house with different style and traditions, but they do get help, lots of it. in 2008, colleen christian burke's longtime dream to help decorate the white house came
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true, and that inspired her to write the book, "christmas with the first ladies." colleen is here in the studio this morning. good morning. merry christmas. you're so festive. let's talk about how you got to the white house and became part of the decorating team in 2008. it began with a letter and then another one. >> and another one. >> and then hundreds of letters. but you had no connection to the white house. you just wrote these letters, hoping to get in? >> i and made some phone calls. thank goodness for computers, and i like to joke that president obama got to the white house faster than i did because it was really a hobby that just kind of took on a life of its own, and i have children. so i wanted them to see me pursuing a goal and not getting discouraged. in 2008 it worked out. >> i always say that no is the first answer on the way to yes. >> right. exactly. >> so this experience, which we'll talk a little bit more about in 2008, inspired you to write the book. i want to look at the images first. i think as the public, the image
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we're used to seeing is that white house christmas tree arriving at the white house, right? >> exactly. >> this is this year's christmas tree. a lot of -- when that tree arrives, though, that's really when the work begins. tell us about it. what goes into decorating the white house for the holidays? is it >> it's an enormous undertaking, and i like to say the first lady is the commander in chief of christmas. it's her vision. we execute it. but it's done with almost military precision. they start thinking about these themes in february and march of the year before, and then a lot of work actually happens off-site where you're prebuilding and assembling everything. >> i was surprised to hear that. it makes sense, i guess. >> we can't do everything in the white house. once the decorations are all put together, they are moved to the white house, and there's an enormous two-day install that goes on. >> the lo of furniture is moved. you're eating meals on the floor. >> you're sitting on cardboard boxes. it's like moving day at the white house. you kind of look around and chuckle because it's not the
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normal white house experience. >> what an experience. let's get to some of the photos in the book. i want to begin. you mentioned themes. let's look at this photo of president john f. kennedy and first lady jackie kennedy in front of the nutcracker theme. talk about why this photo is important. >> this is important because jackie was the first first lady who said, if we're having all these people for the holidays, let's have a theme. let's think about it. let's put some thought into it. ever since jackie kennedy's first year as first lady, we've had a christmas theme. >> and the theme this year? >> joy to all. >> wonderful. >> mrs. obama loves the themes that really reflect what's important. >> i want to look at another photo of nancy reagan with mr. t. >> that's a good one. >> dressed as santa. i love it. and she really loved the idea of bringing celebrity santas to the white house, right? >> mr. t and nancy reagan, what's more '80s? >> and shoulder pads. >> larry hagman was a celebrity santa. and one year the president
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dressed up and surprised her, and he was the celebrity santa. >> also want to talk about laura bush because this was the year you were there in 2008. >> yes. >> i want to look at that photo and also talk about your experience, very traditional looking white house under the bush white house. >> yes. mrs. bush, very elegant, very beautiful decorations. she copied her mother in law's signature look, the snowy trees in the grand lobby throughout the white house. when we were working on it, they'd say more snow, less snow, more snow. the first lady had a vision, and she really communicated it to us, and we finally got it right. it was perfect. >> very quickly want to talk about bo, the first family's dog. >> he's a real celebrity at the white house. this year we have bo-flakes. if you go through, you should find the ornaments that have bo's paw prints on them. there are bo sculptures and bo cookies. he is a big, big part of the white house at christmas. >> colleen christian burke, the book is called "christmas with the first ladies, the white
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house decorating tradition from jacqueline kennedy to michelle obama." what a great idea. i wish you the best of luck with this book and merry christmas. >> merry christmas. >> thanks so much. ahead on "starting point," eight days left to make a deal. does president the obama want to go off the cliff? why some say that's been the plan all along. we will talk to grover nor kwift, president of americans for tax reform top of the hour. this holiday, share everything. share "not even close." share "you owe me..." share "just right." the share everything plan. shareable data across 10 devices with unlimited talk and text. hurry in for a droid razr m by motorola for $49.99. ♪
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a brazen assault leaves an american dead in afghanistan. who officials say is behind this latest green on blue attack. and they're on vacation, but they're still pointing fingers. why republicans say the president wants to go over the fiscal cliff. and imagine someone breaking into your home and ransacking your christmas tree, stealing your electronics. meet the family who encountered a real life grinch and caught the thief on camera. it's an unbelievable story, and the family will join us live in this hour. good morning, everybody. on a christmas eve, welcome to "starting point." i'm alina cho in new york. da dana, good morning. >> good morning. alina. i'm dana bash in washington. it's christmas eve. "starting point" begins right now.
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and our starting point, an american contractor in kabul shot and killed earlier this morning by a woman wearing an afghan police uniform. it happened inside kabul's police headquarters, and it's the latest in a string of suspected green on blue attacks. pentagon correspondent barbara starr is working her sources, and she joins us from washington. barbara, we have seen a lot of these attacks. correct me if i'm wrong, this is the first time it's happened with a woman. >> reporter: i think that is absolutely correct, dana. u.s. officials, nato officials looking into all of this, trying to figure out what exactly did happen. a woman in an afghan police uniform opened up fire, shooting and killing a u.s. contractor inside kabul police headquarters. key question perhaps, was she really an afghan police official, or was the uniform perhaps stolen? was this an infill tator of the taliban? what exactly was going on here? these are the questions in all of these incidents that get
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asked. they have a very active program in each case to investigate and try to determine what went wrong, what they might have known, what they might have been able to spot. very sad news for an american family on this holiday, a u.s. contractor shot and killed by a woman in an afghan police uniform. da dana? >> it certainly is. it's always tragic news, but it's especially hard when it's on christmas eve. thank you very much, barbara. it's beginning to look like millions of stockings will be stuffed with a tax hike and spending cuts this holiday seas season. only eight days left until america goes off the fiscal cliff. both sides are taking a holiday break, and all we're getting is the blame game. some republicans suggesting that the doomsday scenario that's now unfolding is all part of a white house plan. >> when i listen to the president, i think the president is eager to go over the cliff for political purposes. i think he sees a political
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victory at thement bot of the cliff. he gets all this additional tax revenue for new program. he gets to cut the military, which democrats have been calling for for years, and he gets to blame republicans for it. >> white house correspondent breanna keilar has the envy of all assignments of traveling with the president and joins us live from honolulu, hawaii, this morning. breanna, good morning to you. >> reporter: good morning to you, alina. the bottom line here, beginning this week, is that substantive conversations between democrats and republicans are basically nonexistent. the white house and senate democrats are not in communication not only with house republicans but now, very importantly, senate republicans as attention turns to the senate. that's perhaps why you're seeing some democrats like senator joe lieberman share in the republican pessimism about whether we may actually go over the fiscal cliff. >> i feel that it's more likely that we will go over the cliff
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than not, and that, if we allow that to happen, it will be the most colossal consequential act of congressional irresponsibility in a long time, maybe ever in american history. >> reporter: focus now on the senate, which will reconvene on thursday, here in a few days. senate majority leader harry reid has the task of trying to cobble something together that could get republican support in the senate and of course, also, some republican support in the house in order for this to pass congress. the white house has gone back to s bargaining position of wanting tax rates to expire for those over $250,000 a year. it seems unlikely that republicans would sign on to something like that, making it a significant possibility, hearing from democrats and republicans, we could go over this fiscal cliff, alina. >> brianna, you talk about
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cobbling together a last-minute deal. the president admits there will be no grand bargain at this point. if there is something sort of cobbled together at the last minute, are you getting an indication the president would come back from hawaii early? >> reporter: i think that's the expectation. officially, he's supposed to be here through the new year, but folks at the white house are pretty honest about the fact that he likely will be returning to washington around the time the senate reconvenes. it's really just a matter of when. if something needs to get through the senate, it would require unanimous or near unanimous democratic support, and that would require some cajoling, to say the least, from president obama. >> a couple of days of surf and sand is still good, i'm sure you would agree. brianna keilar, thanks so much. dana? >> alina, the fiscal cliff is obviously a very serious issue, but it's bringing out the poetic side of "usa today," at least their editorial board. we want to read to you a bit of the holiday poem they put
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together for this occasion. "twas the night before cliffmas when all through d.c., not a politician was stirring, they decided to flee. their work was not finished, but what did they care? the fiscal cliff looming, they took to the air. voters watched this debacle with increasing dread, while visions of total victory danced in paul's head." goes on to say, "democrats balked at a tight spending cap. republicans kept pushing their anti-tax pact. thursday evening, ere christmas there arose such a clater, reporters sprang to the capitol to see what was the matter? house dems realized with glee the speaker could not pass his own plan b." you know that, dana, because you were there on the capitol saying this is devastating for speaker boehner. everyone is crossing their fingers, hoping a loast-minute deal will come together. let's hope.
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>> it's looking a lot less likely. i'm certainly hearing it from my sources. but we can always hope for a christmas miracle. >> that's right. speaking of christmas, people are hoping for a white christmas on the roads and at the airport across the country. they're crossing their fingers for clear weather. >> a big storm out west already delaying travel plans. san francisco bay area dealing with heavy rain and winds. in washington state, worst driving conditions in 30 years forced crews to shut down highway 2 in the cascade mountains. that's near stevens pass. bonnie schneider tracking the weather systems throughout the country. she joins us with the holiday forecast. delays, delays, delays, bonnie. >> this is not right now. we are anticipating the delays. the good news is, if you have a morning flight this christmas eve, i think you'll do okay. throughout the day, the delays will build across the south and even the midwest and especially out west because there's snow
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happening throughout the rockies and salt lake city, and you'll see that building in, especially west of denver up into the mountains. severe storms possible overnight into texas, southwest louisiana. as this front advances eastward, it's pulling down quite a bit of rain through north carolina and into tennessee. i wanted to show you this division here. we have wet christmas, and we have a white christmas. where will you see each? it's so spread out throughout the country. places like kansas and oklahoma, arkansas and even parts of washington certainly will see a white christmas whereas the rain continues along the south and into the gulf coast. also for san francisco and seattle. cities that have been seeing rain all week long. as we break it down, we'll show you the storm system creating that diversity in the forecast for christmas. stormy conditions, actually dangerous ones, setting up for tomorrow. possibly tornadoes in the mid-south and southeast. as we go towards areas wednesday, the day after christmas, we'll actually see more snow the day after christmas than christmas itself. it will be measurable snow from much of southern ohio and
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kentucky to new york state and connecticut and new england. so look for a day after christmas being the snowier one. >> it's messy after the fact, but it's beautiful coming down, isn't it? i love a white christmas. >> if you're inside, right? >> if you're inside looking out. all right, bonnie schneider. thanks so much. new poll numbers say a majority of americans say the u.s. and other countries should not get involved in syria. 52% say they're against the idea of using the u.s. or other countries' military airplanes and missiles to try to establish safe zones for the syrian opposition. 43% are for the idea, all this as a gruesome scene unfolds there. more than 100 people who had gone without bread for a week killed as they lined up as a bakery. the death toll from that attack is expected to climb. and senator mike crapo of idaho is offering up apologies to his family and his constinuents after being arrested and charged with driving under the influence in alexandria, virginia.
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police say the idaho republican was pulled over early saturday morning after being spotted running a red light. he had a blood alcohol level of .11. the legal blood alcohol level in virginia is .08. he was released on $1,000 bond. and president obama hasn't even nominated former nebraska republican senator chuck hagel as his choice as secretary of defense, but hagel is taking heat from lawmakers, his former colleagues, on his past position on iran in a 2007 interview where he said that jewish lobby intimidated lawmakers. >> i would have some really serious questions to ask him, not just about israel, but to me the most significant foreign policy challenge for president obama and our country and the world in the next year or two is iran and its nuclear weapons program. chuck hagel has had some very outlying votes on that. >> i don't think he's going to get many republican votes. i like chuck, but his positions, i didn't really quite frankly
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know all of them, are really out of mainstream and well to the left of the president. >> well to the left of the president, for a republican, we're talking about here. and hagel has also been the subject of a new ad opposing his possible nomination for defense secretary, you're seeing it there. shoppers have spent $38.7 billion online so far this holiday season. that's up 16% from last year, according to comscore. and online shopping during the work week last week was up 53% last year. comscore says retailers extended sales, free shipping, and delivery by christmas deals, and that certainly helped. >> i'm doing most of my'shoing online, are you? >> you know me, i like to go into the store. >> you like to touch. you like to feel. >> i kind of do, yeah. >> life is hard for a fashionista like you. >> life's rough. that's right. ahead on "starting point," does president obama want to go off the cliff? that's what some are saying. they're saying it's been the
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plan all along. we'll talk to grover norquist, the president of americans for tax reform. that's next. and it's not just for dr. seuss. a real life grinch breaks into one family's home. guess what? it's all caught on tape. just look at it. the family joins us live next. [ male announcer ] it's simple physics... a body at rest tends to stay at rest... while a body in motion tends to stay in motion. staying active can actually ease arthritis symptoms. but if you have arthritis, staying active can be difficult. prescription celebrex can help relieve arthritis pain
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welcome back to "starting point." just eight days left before we go off the fiscal cliff. very quiet in washington because congress and the president, they're on vacation. want to bring in our guest, grover norquist. he's the president of americans for tax reform. 213 congressmen and 39 senators have signed his pledge, vowing not to raise taxes. grover, thank you for joining us, especially on this holiday christmas eve. appreciate it. >> good to be with you. >> first i want to play for you something that republican senator johnny isaacson of georgia said yesterday about what he might do when it comes to taxes. >> no one wants taxes to go up on the middle class. i don't want them to go up on
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anybody. i'm not in the majority of the united states senate, and he's the president of the united states. if we get down to the end of this year and the only choice we have is to save taxes going up on the middle class, then i would support that. >> grover, as you know, johnny isakson is not exactly a moderate. he's saying he would support tax increases for everybody below the middle class effectively, if six, seven, eight, depending on the math, other republicans agree with him, and many more in the house, this actually could pass next week, meaning tax increases for everybody over $250,000. >> you're right. we're talking about three things when we talk about the fiscal cliff. one is the bush tax cuts of 2001 and 2003 that the democrats claim they want to protect for most americans. they all voted against them. they didn't want them in the first place, but now they recognize how terribly important they are, they claim. for two full years, all of 2009
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and all of 2010, obama was president. you had a super majority of democrats in the house and the senate. they could have passed making permanent those tax cuts for l all, some americans, people making less than $250,000 a year, they could have done that. they didn't. why do you believe the democrats really want to do something they no longer have the votes to do when they could have done it when they had the votes. that's one part of the fiscal cliff. the other part is the sequester, which saves money. the president wants to end that. and the third part is $1 trillion in obama's taxes. that's the obama care taxes they hid from you because they're all scheduled to come in after he got safely elected. >> let's go back to the bush-era tax cuts. for you, given your position, that's really what we want to focus on here. you make the point that democrats could have voted before when they had super
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majorities or big majoritiemajo and that's a fair point. but in part thanks to you, voting for tax increases is a political death for republicans and democrats. that brings me to my next question. i've talked to republicans and democrats who think we are going to go off the cliff, and here's the reason why. if we go off the cliff, everybody's taxes go up automatically. then congress can come back in january and vote for a tax cut as opposed to tax increases. what do you think about that? >> one of the challenges, of course, is people see this happening. they realize the president has not been negotiating at all over the past three months. we learned days and weeks and months afterwards that they had non-meetings where this is going on. i was a strong advocate of having c-span cameras in the negotiating room so you wouldn't have this situation where the president's spokespeople say one thing happened in a meeting when the people in the meeting said the opposite happened. the american people ought to
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have the right to see really what's happening and what the president's real position is. >> i would certainly be an advocate for c-span cameras in the oval office. >> yes. >> but i want to get to something that happened last week which led to where we are today, which is speaker boehner's plan b, which would have kept tax cuts where they are, for everybody making $1 million and less, didn't pass, even though you offered him political cover by writing a statement saying you didn't consider that a tax increase. but other tax groups, like club for growth, and american action network, they worked hard to defeat this before it even happened. a quote from club for growth. "on the substance, the plan is anti-growth. it increases tax rates for those making over $1 million while also raising taxes on capital gains and dividend. we don't buy into the washington speak suggesting that these are actually tax cuts." they won the day. you didn't.
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does this hurt your clout? >> look, there are people who stake out a position for tactical -- this is a strategic, or tactical question. speaker boehner wants to continue the lower tax rates for all americans, americans for tax reform, the tax group that i run, we want to continue the tax -- lower tax rates for all americans. we want to go to the tax reform that's in the paul ryan budget. the house of representatives has already pass ed twice the ryan budget, which reforms taxes for all americans, takes the top rate to 25%, which is what the europeans do for the business community. we want to go there. how do you get there? i'm not sure that defeating plan b strengthens our ability to get there. i think, in fact, that plan b was a good step in the right direction towards protecting and continuing the tax cuts for everybody. >> and do you think that republicans sort of shot themselves in the foot because they defeated this. at the end of the day, the votes
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might be there for tax increases that from the republican perspective, are even worse than what the speaker offered that they wouldn't let him even bring up for a vote. >> as i read the speaker's proposal, plan b, i thought it moved us in the direction of maintaining all the bush tax cu cuts. look, this is not a fight that begins and ends the first week of january. there's going to be a regular fight on the continuing resolution because remember the democratic senate hasn't passed a budget in three or four years. so we do a cr, a continuing resolution, to authorize the government to spend more money. there the republicans have a lot of clout because they can say we'll let you run the government for the next month, but you've got to make these reforms. that's exactly what they did very successfully two years ago for a while. then you have the debt ceiling increase, which is the other lever, the other power that the republicans and the house have. you want to get a debt ceiling increase, both speaker boehner
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and the republican leader in the senate, mitch mcconnell have made it clear, you want $1 trillion of more debt ceiling, because that's what the president is running, $1 trillion more debts, you have to cut it at the same time. they won it a year ago. they'll win it in the future. this is a long fight. it's four years of a fight. it's not one week of a fight. to your earlier question, does the president want to take us over the cliff? i think now he does. the reason is he needs an excuse for the next four years of failure. blaming it on bush doesn't work very much. the regulations and spending he's put on the economy for the next four years is going to put us in recession regardless of the fiscal cliff. >> to be fair, i'm told there are a number of republicans, especially in the house, who want to go over the cliff for the reason i explained, that they'd much rather vote for a tax cut than a tax increase because they don't want to break your pledge. grover, thank you very much. appreciate it. >> no one should break their pledge. >> merry christmas. thank you, grover. >> merry christmas to you.
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>> ahead on "starting point," who would do this right before christmas? real grinches break into one family's home, turning over their tree, stealing their electronics. what are they going to do about it? we'll talk to them live next. i . because your daughter really wants that pink castle thing. and you really don't want to pay more than you have to. only citi price rewind automatically searches for the lowest price. and if it finds one, you get refunded the difference. just use your citi card and register your purchase online. have a super sparkly day! ok. [ male announcer ] now all you need is a magic carriage. citi price rewind. start saving at citi.com/pricerewind.
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27 minutes after the hour. welcome back to "starting point." it was a scene right out of the grinch who stole christmas. robbers break into their home, tear'you the gifts, even knock over the christmas tree. what they didn't count on were
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security cameras installed by the family just three weeks before. as you can see there, it was all caught on tape. joining me now, shawn and casey graham and their 6-year-old daughter, the victims of this terrible robbery pre-christmas. good morning. i'm so glad you're with us. so tell me, i understand that you and your daughter came home to this, shawn. originally, you did not think this was a robbery. what did you think had happened? >> i had thought the dogs tore up the tree for the candy canes, but it was still too hard to believe that they did that. >> and, casey, the fact that you installed those security cameras three weeks prior is a blessing. let's hope it helps catch these guys. but having said that, when you saw all of this unfold, literally these guys with their pants down, ransacking, tearing
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open your gifts, knocking over your tree, when you saw it all on tape, what did you think? >> shocked and surprised. it makes you angry to see somebody going through your stuff and going through your home when there's nothing you can do about it. >> what are you doing about it? from what i understand -- and i would imagine you've turned over that tape to police. shawn, you've even posted some interesting photos on facebook, haven't you? >> yes. one of our great friends have posted a lot of stuff on facebook. >> el tell us what you're doing try to catch these guys. they still haven't caught them, have they? >> no, they have not. from what we hear, they have great leads. our friend has been really diligent about posting it on facebook, posting any new information. we're getting a lot of stories from other people that's had the same situation happen to them. it's just really common, and we're fortunate enough it wasn't as bad as these other people. >> and i find that interesting. you say that you're fortunate.
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i think a lot of people would look at this video and listen to you and hear what happened and think, these people rcht fortunate, but you say you're fortunate? >> sure, sure. there were homes that were completely cleared out or robbed in person. we were lucky to not be there when it happened. and they didn't make off with more than they did. >> casey, you and shawn have a 6-year-old daughter. inform are a 6-year-old, something like this is so hard to understand. this is the time where santa pays a visit and you open gifts, and it's such a happy time, or supposed to be. what have you told your daughter about all of this?
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casey? oh, boy, right at that moment. shawn graham and casey graham, with you thank you both, if you can still hear me for joining us. we wish you the very best. we hope that police catch those guys who came into your home. ahead on "starting point," the nra doubles down and calls for armed police in all schools after the newtown massacre. a lot of criticism from both sides of the aisle on that. we will talk to one law maker who is pushing a similar plan to arm our teachers. plus would you like to buy a "g"? a wheel of fortune controversy that has people saying the game show is anti-south. that's next.
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welcome back to a very special edition of "starting point." it's christmas eve. i'm alina cho in new york. >> hello. i'm dana bash. thanks for joining us on this christmas eve morning.
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we've got breaking news to tell you about. a scary situation unfolding right now in upstate new york, where s.w.a.t. teams are on the scene of a house fire in rochester. authorities say a gunman began shooting at responding firefighters with an assault rifle. one firefighter is wounded, and the fire has spread to a neighboring home. we're going to keep a close eye on this as it develops. and to syria now, where a gruesome scene is unfolding this morning. more than 100 people who had gone without bread for a week killed as they lined up to get bread at a bakery. the death toll is expected to rise as well. mohammed is following development fs from beirut. we must warn you the video you're about to see is graphic. >> reporter: horrifying details that emerged from this town. this attack occurred sunday.
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they say this bakery in this town was specifically targeted because this town had been liberated by rebel free syria army soldiers the last few days, it harbored anti-government sentiment. because of that, war planes shelled this bakery where hundreds of people were lined up outside to get bread to feed themselves and their family. the opposition activists tell us it was a horrible scene there. some of this amateur video you're seeing, some of it is so graphic we have to blur. there are mangled bodies pulled out of the rubble. there are free syrian army soldiers as well as civilians trying to tend to the wounded and dig out the dead bodies from the rubble there, really, really horrific stuff. the syrian government, for its part, is saying they did not do this. they say this was the work of terrorists. that's the term they use for opposition forces, for rebel forces in syria. they say that, in fact, this town was attacked, that that's how this bakery was shelled, and they say that then they came in and intervened at the behest of the members of the town there. there is some more that we need
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to tell you about. lakhdar brahimi, the joint u.n. arab league envoy to syria, he went to syria yesterday and spoke to bashar al assad trying to forge a path towards peace. here's more what he told reporters about what he spoke to president bashar al assad about. >> translator: we have exchanged opinions about the possible steps that can be taken in the future. the syrian president spoke about his view of the situation. i also talked about the meetings i have had abroad in several cities with various officials in the region and outside the region. i also talked about which steps would i say are appropriate to be taken to help the syrian people to get out of this crisis. >> reporter: mr. brahimi has since left syria. he says it's a crisis there. it's only worsening, and they hope they can come to some sort of a solution to help the syrian people. dana? >> mohammed jamjoom, awful,
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awful story, hungry people going out to get bread. thank you very much. call him crazy if you want. the head of the nra isn't giving any ground on its controversial statement after the mass shooting in newtown, connecticut. ceo wane lapierre telling nbc that all schools should now have armed police. >> if it's crazy to call for putting security and armed police in our school to protect our children, then call me crazy. i'll tell you what, i think the american people think it's crazy not to do it. >> and that's not the only idea out there. bob marshall is a state delegate for virginia, and he's got a proposal that would require some teachers or other staffers to carry concealed weapons in school. mr. marshall, good morning. thank you for joining us. you know, i think that many people agree, most agree that this terrible shooting, 20 young children dead, 27 total, is a
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game changer and that public opinion really is shifting. and that the solution is not more guns, but fewer guns. i'm curious to know, how do you expect to get real support on this measure? >> the requirement is not for individual teachers or administrators to carry guns. the requirement is for public school divisions to offer such training to people who want to receive such training. i have e-mails from school teachers, administrators, principals around virginia and public schools who want to do this. in virginia, we do have police. we call them community resource officers, right now, who are in the public schools. it's predominantly secondary schools. in virginia, we do allow parents or relatives to go on school grounds right now with a concealed carry permit provided you stay in the car. there have been no incidents at all adverse to anybody. in 2006, the incidents of gun
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related crimes was 79 per 100,000. it's now dropped to 57 per 100,000. in the same time, gun purchases have increased 73%. so at least in virginia, more guns has resulted in few ircrimes. >> you give me some statistics. i'm going to give you some. poll after poll shows a majority of americans are now in favor of stricter gun laws. i want you to look up on the screen there. this is coming from cbs news. more americans, as you can see there, 57% are in favor of more strict gun control laws versus 39% in april. that is an incredible jump. and you look at even members of the nra, and they say that 74% say there should be background checks on all purchasers. 74% only after gun safety training, and you see the screen there. you know, you talk about arming, or the possibility of arming
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teachers and school officials is one thing, and maybe some of them want to do that. there's another big point about whether it works. there was an armed good in littleton, colorado, at columbine. that didn't stop those shooters from going on a rampage, 15 dead. there was a police station on the campus of virginia tech. that didn't stop that gunman. and a lot of people think these attacks happened so quickly, these gunman are so brazen, there's nothing anyone can do to stop that. what do you say to that? >> i introduced legislation to allow professionors wors who ha concealed carry permits to carry on campus in virginia. that didn't work. they're usually in a reactive mode. i'm thankful that they're there. but i think that individuals already certified to carry -- again, going through a four-week course that you would go through if you're going to be the deputy sheriff in virginia should be on our public school grounds if they want to do this.
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i'm not requiring anybody to do this. when you have a sign in front of schools saying this is a gun free area. we don't do it in our private homes. certainly not in front of your home saying this say gun free zone. children are in schools with armed guards at the political elite. we're asking for the same to apply to the rest of america. >> when you talk about training, these teachers are taught to teach, not to shoot guns, and perhaps some of that training, should they choose to undergo it, would certainly help, but mistakes are made. even with the best training. i want you to listen to a man who ran to the scene of the tucson shooting involving gabby giffords, and he says he almost shot the wrong person, almost shot the man who was trying to take the gun away from the shooter, jared loughner.
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watch. >> i was in a full sprint. there was no time to think about anything. i saw another individual holding the firearm, and i kind of assumed he was the shooter. so i grabbed his wrist and told him to drop it and forced him to'dro the gun on the ground. when he did that, everybody says, no, no, it's this guy. all i had to do was help. if they haven't grabbed him and he'd have been still moving, i would have shot him. i almost shot the man holding the gun. >> well, the important point to know is that he didn't do it. in the united states, in states which pass bills allowing the carry of concealed weapons, crime drops significantly in those states. i don't see that's necessarily a bad result. >> you're talking about teachers, particularly in this case f you look at sandy hook, who are trained to teach kids 6, 7 years old, and you're talking about them possibly carrying
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concealed weapons. >> i don't want to force anybody to do this. it is very distressing at this time of year to have such a slaughter of innocents or any time of year. i am a grandfather. i have children in -- grandchildren in virginia's public schools. i don't want the same policy course to continue. our governor, who's a very cautious guy, said we need this as part of the discussion. i want to start this as part of a discussion. >> how about the solution being more gun control, tighter laws on buying a gun? you know, public opinion is shifting toward that, as you saw earlier. why not have that as the solution? >> we have background checks in virginia, where, if you go to buy a gun, you've got to go through a background check. if you go to one of these gun shows, you've got background checks. what has happened here is, because of barack obama's past record, he voted against a law where the illinois legislature wanted to say, if there's a local ordinance against the possession of handguns, that our law will override that if you defend your life or your
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property in your home. he voted no on that. there has been a panic since this event, unlike 2001 when there was a terror attack, when 3,000 people were killed. there wasn't a big rush to buy guns. there is now because people are fearful that the second amendment guarantee of right of gun ownership is going to be abdicated here because of this horrible event. >> bob marshall, you're the state delegate in virginia with an interesting proposal about the possibility of arming teachers in schools. >> some teachers. >> some teachers. please keep us posted on how this plays out. thank you for joining us today. dana? >> thanks, alina. ahead on "starting point," more armstrong. who's suing him over those doping allegations? >> angels play a prominent role around christmastime, but are they real? one author says they are and that she can even see them.
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she is with us live after this.
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welcome back to "starting point." some top stories. president obama and the first lady are paying respects to senator inouye. following the ceremony, the president went to visit the grave of his grandfather anthony durham, also a world war ii vet, buried at the same cemetery. lance armstrong facing a suit against the times of london. the now disgraced cyclist received a settlement of $1.6 million in 2006 following a libel suit. now the paper wants more than $6 million, saying, it's clearly false that armstrong never took performance enhancing drugs. reality tv star bethany f n
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frankel and her husband have separated. she called it an extremely difficult decision as a wife and a mother, i have to accept the best choice. she became famous as a member of the cast "the real housewives of new york" and spinoff reality shows of her life. they were married for three years. they have a 2-year-old daughter. call it the wheel of misfortune. contestant renee dourette thought she had the winning answer to a big money puzzle on the wheel of fortune. maybe she didn't. watch this. >> "g." >> and there's a "g." >> i'd like to solve. >> yes. >> seven swans a-swimmin. >> yeah, no. >> come on. dourette is a navy intel specialist from merritt island, florida. instead of saying seven swans a swimming, as you just heard, her southern accent had her swallow
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it. she swallowed the letter "g." she said swimmin instead. to me it didn't even sound like an accent. it sounded like she was having fun, a-swimmin. >> give me a break. come on. >> ridiculous. let's hope that's reversed. up next, an author who says not only does she believe in angels, but she can see them. why she says so many more come out this time of year. [ male announcer ] citi turns 200 this year.
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ail jels play a prominent roll in the story of christmas, announcing the birth of baby jesus. but for this author, she claims she's been seeing angels since she was a baby. the message is to give people hope, especially at christmas. her best-selling book, a message of hope from angels, is out there on am on sazon and everyw else. we're going to talk to her now. good morning. thanks for joining us. the first question that comes to my mind, and i guess it comes to
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most of our viewers' minds, what does it mean when you see angels? describe what you're talking about. >> i see angels as physically as you would. you know when you're out on the street and you see all of the people. well, i see all of the people, and i would see the guardian angel as physically as i see the people, regardless of their religion or their belief or even if they have no belief. every single human being has a guardian angel, and even whether you are good or bad. sorry. the other day when i was out on the street myself, i saw a father walking home with his little son, and the son was riding a bike, and his guardian angel was dressed in pink and stretched out over him with the guardian angel with the beautiful golden hands on the handle bars and trying to pull the young boy back and telling him not to go too far ahead of his dad. i just see angels physically every single day, and it's
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normal and natural. and i don't know why i see angels and say not you. >> well, when i think of angels, i think of the movie "it's a wonderful life," clarence, the angel, which is near and dear to my heart because i watch this movie every christmas, as i think most americans do, it's on tv. remember the point where the bell tolls. listen to this. >> look, daddy, teacher says, every time a bell rings, an angel gets his wings. >> that's right. >> so my question for you is that the kind of angel you see? more importantly, is that the kind of angel you think exists? clarence, of course, tried to explain to jimmy stewart that his life is important because, if he wasn't here, everybody's lives would be different. >> at this time of the year, i see a multitude of angels that only come for christmastime. they are very bright and very white and gold, and they carry a ball of light, and they drop it
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on every home, whether it's a house or an apartment or even a cardboard box, and filling each home with love and hope. angels are very, very beautiful. i wouldn't be able to describe them. >> i have to ask the skeptic's question. a lot of people might find it hard to believe that you actually see angels. >> well, what would i say to you? there's nothing i can say if you believe or don't believe. i just say to people, if you're a skeptic, give yourself a chance, say what have you got to lose? and just believe in angels maybe for the christmas. and it's just very important because everyone has a guardian angel. i don't know why god chose me to see angels physically and not you or anyone else, but i do know it is to give the messages to everyone to allow everyone in the world to know they have a
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guardian angel that's a gift from god that loves them unconditionally. >> it is a nice message, a message of hope. as you say, angels are a sign of hope, and it's especially to remember around the holidays. >> they are indeed, yes. >> thank you so much for joining us. merry christmas. >> happy christmas. happy christmas. >> thank you.
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sfx- "sounds of african drum and flute" look who's back. again? it's embarrassing it's embarrassing! we can see you carl. we can totally see you. come on you're better than this...all that prowling around. yeah, you're the king of the jungle. have you thought about going vegan carl? hahaha!! you know folks who save hundreds of dollars by switching to geico sure are happy. how happy are they jimmy? happier than antelope with night-vision goggles. nice! get happy. get geico. fifteen minutes could save you fifteen percent or more.

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